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LLA launches the Aspiring Principal Program


The Lynch Leadership Academy has launched an Aspiring Principal Program! The program seeks to build the capacity of aspiring leaders who lead Catholic, charter and district schools in the Boston region. The Academy provides each Fellow the opportunity to learn and observe new skills and effective practices, to practice and implement them and to receive feedback from expert practitioners, thereby significantly improving their professional capacity for a direct and measurable impact on student achievement.

The Aspiring Principals Program includes several components: a two-day Cohort Retreat, a two-week Summer Institute, a year-long school-based Residency experience with mentorship from an effective Mentor Principal and ongoing coursework and professional development throughout the year.  

Cohort Retreat:  The focus of the cohort retreat is cohort-building that leads to the development of a Professional Learning Community (PLC). The Lynch Leadership Academy Fellowship intends to foster cross-sector collaboration.  As such, the Cohort Retreat provides a solid foundation for Fellows as they begin to build a PLC. The retreat, facilitated by ARIEL & the Merestim Group, allow aspiring principals to further develop their leadership skills, identify their growth areas, and work with others who will provide them feedback about those areas of growth. The retreat allows aspiring leaders to engage in discovery-based and experiential learning.

Summer Institute: The 10-day summer institute, held in early July, includes coursework and entry planning sessions. These professional development opportunities focus on a wide range of topics pertinent to the vitality and success of urban schools including visioning, school culture, instructional leadership, managing organizational change, database decision-making, political realities, educational equity, and institutional advancement. During the institute, aspiring leaders not only learn from scholar-practitioners, but also continue to develop a network of school leaders that provides ongoing knowledge and support. The sessions offer fresh ideas, tools, and skills for the Fellows to use in their schools and communities.

School-based Residency: Each aspiring principal completes a yearlong residency alongside an effective Mentor Principal. The school-based residency provides the aspiring principals authentic opportunities to practice key skills with feedback. The school-based residency includes experiences such as leading professional development, leading and facilitating leadership team meetings, observing and providing teachers feedback, engaging key stakeholders and the community, and managing the daily operations of a school.  

Coursework & Professional Development: The coursework and professional development workshops allow aspiring principals to deepen their experiences at the residency site by providing appropriate learning engagements. These workshops occur twice monthly and during two week-long seminars throughout the year. 

Successful Aspiring Principal Program Candidates:

  • Have a proven track record of improving student achievement;
  • Believe that all students will achieve college success;
  • Focus on student achievement results;
  • Are data-driven and focused;
  • Possess strong project management skills;
  • Possess effective interpersonal skills; and
  • Are self-aware.

Meet the Cohort

Gerald Yung

Principal, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School

Meghan Welch

Aspiring Principal Fellow, Harvard-Kent Elementary School

Lisa Warshafsky

Aspiring Principal Fellow, Mission Grammar School

Andrew Vega

Aspiring Principal Fellow, Phineas Bates Elementary School

Rochelle Valdez

Aspiring Principal Fellow, Joseph J. Hurley K-8 School

Patrick Tutwiler

Headmaster, Brighton High School

Courtney Smith

Lower School Principal, Boston Collegiate Charter School

Maureen Simmons

Principal, St. Agatha School

Valecia Saunders

Headmaster, McKinley Schools

Gene Roundtree

Aspiring Principal Fellow, Eliot K-8 Innovation School

Adam Renda

Principal, Crocker Elementary School

Sonya Pratt-Masso

Principal, City on a Hill II

Katie Pereira

Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, Excel Academy Orient Heights

Mark Pellegrino

Principal, Gardner High School

Mark O'Connor

Resident Fellow, William W. Henderson Inclusion Elementary School

Sarah Morland

High School Principal, Boston Collegiate Charter School

Eileen McLaughlin

Principal, Mount Alvernia High School

Karen McCarthy

Principal, Curtis Guild Elementary

Michelle Knoebel

Aspiring Principal Fellow, Boston Renaissance Charter Public School

Sara Hosmer

Principal, Martin E. Young School

Jocelyn Goodwin

Assistant Principal, Match Community Day Charter School

John Elder

Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, Phoenix Academy Lawrence

Brett Dickens

Principal, Boston Community Leadership Academy

Stacy Ciprich

Assistant Principal, Lawrence High School

Emily Bryan

Resident Fellow, Warren/Prescott K-8 School

Erin Borthwick

Principal, Wolfgang Mozart Elementary School

Cristin Berry

Principal, City on a Hill I

Stacy Andrade

Assistant Principal, Lawrence Catholic Academy

Meet the Alumni

Megan Webb

Resident Fellow, Orchard Gardens K-8 School

Samantha Varano

Assistant Principal, Thomas A. Edison K-8 School

Marjorie Soto

Principal, Joseph J. Hurley Dual Language School

Mistie Parsons

Head of School, Phoenix Charter Academy

Abidemi Bisi Oyedele

Executive Director, MATCH Charter Public High School

Tom Nunan, Jr.

Principal, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School

Katharine Needham

Assistant Principal, Match Community Day Charter School

Pauline Lugira

Resident Fellow, The Dever/McCormack Middle School

Alex Lisak

Principal, Academy of the Pacific Rim

Deborah Langlois

Principal, Gardner Middle School

Kelly M. Hung

Principal, Phineas Bates Elementary School

Nicole Gittens

Principal, Urban Science Academy

Lisa Gilbert-Smith

Principal, Another Course to College

Jason Gallagher

Principal, Harvard Kent Elementary School

Christine Ann Evans

Principal, Saint Paul School

Aliece M. Dutson

Assistant Principal, Mission Grammar School

Jenna Cramer

Principal, Kilmer K-8 School

Robby Chisholm

Resident Fellow, Mather Elementary School

Stephanie Callahan

Head of Lower School, Salem Academy

Ethan d’Ablemont Burnes

Principal, Manning School

Emily Bozeman

Resident Fellow, The Elliot K-8 School

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